Food, Lifestyle

Bombay Sapphire’s Project Botanicals ‘True Artistry’ Experience

The latest flavour, scent, sound and visual sensation has landed at Taxi Riverside in Federation Square. Project Botanicals is a collaboration between some of Melbourne and Sydney’s most creative innovators in their respective fields; fragrance specialist and creator Samantha Taylor (The Powder Room), Head Chef of Taxi Kitchen Tony Twitchett, Head Chef of Sydney’s Botanic Restaurant Matt Fletcher and DJ duo Yolanda Be Cool.  

The World Loves Melbourne was fortunate enough to experience ‘True Artistry’; a music, fragrance and culinary sensation, including ten stunning dishes paired with unique cocktails, all inspired by the ten botanicals found within Bombay Sapphire’s vapour infused gin.

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Botanical laboratory centrepieces set the scene for an interactive afternoon. Cocktails and dishes were brought out in a steady stream, some requiring guests to garnish. We added a spray of Yuzu mist to the Sake wash Tuna with soybean pesto and daikon salad, and it’s accompanying Lemon Collins cocktail. An edible viola was placed on the Orris Spice Trader, an aromatic blend of Bombay Sapphire, turmeric and ginger syrup, lime juice and Fever Tree soda water (created by Gin Palace). Okra and Qukes coconut curry was the perfect creamy accompaniment. 

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A fragrance masterclass with Samantha Taylor gave guests the opportunity to create our own Bombay Sapphire perfumes, using whichever of the ten botanicals we desired. Thankfully, Sam had pre-prepared a special limited edition fragrance, artfully blending all ten essences, and revealing the beautiful synergy between alcohol and perfume. 

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The next course was a coffee smoked duck, asparagus, nut crumble and vanilla dressing. We sprinkled a spoon of almond coffee powder on top, and tasted the curious fusion of flavours, while sipping the Almond Army and Airforce (created by Lily Blacks). The smokey duck meat, rich, bitter coffee and sweet vanilla combined multiple complementary layers. 

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A Coriander inspired candy pork with coconut sambal and mild red chilli dressing brought fiery and fresh to a whole other level, intensified by the Coriander Fire Punch with Bombay Sapphire, lime juice, pineapple juice, chilli syrup, soda and coriander leaves, and Fever tree soda water (created by Taxi).     

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Sweet conclusions included a warm Liquorice Tea Party with Bombay Sapphire, liquorice tea, almond milk, condensed milk and lemon curd. Paired with a dark and velvety Okoko chocolate tart with caramelised milk jam and liquorice powder, this duo created beautiful and comforting balance. A Fig and Cassia Swizzle with poached pear, goats yogurt foam, cherry sorbet, white chocolate cream and pink grapefruit rendered us completely full and satisfied. 

The Project Botanicals annual cocktail and dining experience is in its third year and is open to the Melbourne public for two weeks only, from Thursday 8th September - Sunday 18th September (sittings available Thursday - Saturday, 6pm - 8.30pm; and Sunday 12pm3pm6pm). Tickets are now available for purchase through the Project Botanicals website, and include two exclusive cocktails with two paired dishes. 

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Trust us, you won’t want to miss out on this deliciously multi-sensory experience!

Rachel Mason


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